The challenges of evidence-based policy-making are more than just challenges of producing evidence (http://www.sciencemetrics.org/budget-evidence-based-policymaking/). The use of evidence in policy-making is very powerful, and entails a profound shift in the way that we make decisions and engage various stakeholders.
Acknowledging this, the UK’s Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has been developing and implementing strategies aimed specifically at the use of evidence for years; they are already on their third iteration (https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/318610/evidence-strategy-defra.pdf). Thought leaders in evidence-based decision-making, such as Justin Parkhurst and Louise Shaxson, have written extensively about the institutional changes involved in shifting towards a culture of evidence-based decision-making in government.
Evidence-based decision-making is deeply intertwined with Open and transparent government. Stakeholders need to be engaged in defining project goals & mechanisms, selecting relevant indicators, and reviewing the consideration of evidence for decisions. Evidence starts a conversation, it doesn’t end it.
If Canada wants to lead in open, evidence-based government, there is considerable opportunity to learn from the experiences of others. But we need to get past the idea that the challenge of using evidence in government is primarily a challenge of supply.
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Submitted by bev kennedy on March 22, 2018 - 9:29 PM